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Fight Stat Wrap: UFC Fresno Recap
Fight Stat Wrap: UFC Fresno Recap

A new featherweight contender emerged Saturday in Fresno, as Brian Ortega was able to overcome a slow start and get the submission. Richard Mann is back for his weekly stats-based breakdown.

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Brian Ortega    UFC    Featherweight
Ortega said Monday on The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani that he has one fight remaining on his UFC contract, and plans to renegotiate his deal before fighting again.

Fantasy Analysis

Ortega is probably at the best spot he can be from a leverage standpoint, as he's unbeaten as a professional and is coming off the biggest win of his career against highly-regarded veteran Cub Swanson. The 26-year-old could be looking at a title shot in 2018, though he'll likely have to wait in line behind Frankie Edgar for the next shot at current champion Max Holloway. Should a bout with Holloway eventually get booked, it would represent an intriguing clash of styles. Holloway's strength lies in his striking and seemingly never-ending cardio/pace, while Ortega is more of a submission specialist, gaining seven of his 13 wins via tapout. Should Ortega continue his pattern of slow starts, he'll be at risk of getting battered by Holloway early, though the champion will need to be on high alert if Ortega can get the fight to the ground. Stay tuned for an update on Ortega's next move.
Cain Velasquez    UFC    Heavyweight
Velasquez's training partner, Daniel Cormier, revealed Monday on The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani that he has resumed training despite dealing with a back injury.

Fantasy Analysis

Velasquez doesn't have any concrete plans for a fight just yet, but seeing that he's back to training is certainly a positive sign. Though Francis Ngannou and Stipe Miocic are currently set to fight in February, the winner of the matchup would be an excellent fight for Cain, unless he decides to book a "tune-up fight" first. Velasquez, a former heavyweight champion, has not stepped into the Octagon since a UFC 200 victory over Travis Brown in July 2016.
Scott Askham    UFC    Middleweight
Askham signed a three-fight, non-exclusive deal with the fighting promotion KSW, Peter Carroll of reports.

Fantasy Analysis

Askham had been with the UFC since 2014 and maintains a 14-4 record (2-4 UFC). The fighter lost back-to-back bouts via decision prior to being released from the promotion earlier this year. A former BAMMA champion, he came back with a win at ACB 70 and has recently signed a brief three-fight contract with KSW.
Cub Swanson    UFC    Featherweight
Swanson's future with the UFC is up in the air with negotiations with Dana White pending, Alexander K. Lee of reports.

Fantasy Analysis

Swanson's last fight on his contract was a submission loss to Brian Ortega on Saturday in Fresno. The fighter has been with the promotion since 2011 and boasts a 25-8 career record (10-4 UFC). He was nearing a shot at the featherweight title until the loss this weekend broke a four-fight winning streak. With his contract up, Swanson will begin negotiations with UFC President Dana White after the holiday season.
Alessio Sakara    Bellator    Middleweight
Sakara lost to Rafael Carvalho via KO (elbow) at 0:44 of Round 1 at Bellator 190 on Saturday in Florence, Italy.

Fantasy Analysis

Sakara has been experiencing a late-career resurgence in Bellator. This is the third Italian Bellator event the Italian has headlined since signing with the promotion last year. In his first two trips to the Bellator cage, he scored wins over Brian Rogers and Joey Beltran in light heavyweight fights. For this fight, he dropped to middleweight to challenge for the belt. Unfortunately for him, he could not withstand the power of Carvalho. He falls to 18-12 as a professional for the 15-year veteran.
Rafael Carvalho    Bellator    Middleweight
Carvalho defeated Alessio Sakara via KO (elbow) at 0:44 of Round 1 at Bellator 190 on Saturday in Florence, Italy.

Fantasy Analysis

Carvalho's unexpected middleweight title reign is starting to produce some highlight reel finishes. In his last fight, he stopped veteran kickboxer Melvin Manhoef in the fourth round with a brutal kick. In this fight, he need less than a minute to stop Sakara with an elbow. There is not much to say about this fight other than the fact that Carvalho has big power and is learning how to use it. This fight sets up his next title defense against former Strikeforce champion Gegard Mousasi. Carvalho has obviously improved, but most would concede that he will be an underdog against Mousasi.
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